Picks and Pans Review: Boys Like Girls

updated 09/14/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/14/2009 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Love Drunk |

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Like many emo bands, Boys Like Girls tends to get a little melodramatic. Take the title-track single of their second album: "I used to be love drunk/ But now I'm hungover/ Love you forever/ Forever is over," sings frontman Martin Johnson on this high-spirited highlight. On another feverishly catchy track, "Contagious," love has made them downright ill: "Just wanna say I miss you/ I caught it when I kissed you/ And I've been through all the stages/ I'm feeling sick, girl you're so contagious." Even with all their inflated drama, it's pretty easy to like this Boston-based quartet when they're in driving punk-pop mode. But when they slow down the pace on sappy songs like "Two Is Better Than One" (featuring Taylor Swift) and "The First One," these boys come off too girlie.

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